During the build towards a September title-defense, light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was accused of having a spy in opponent Quinton Jackson’s camp who was reporting back with inside information on his training. While Jackson’s accusations were unfounded, when it comes to his upcoming bout with Rashad Evans there’s no question Jones will enter the Octagon with intimate knowledge of his adversary thanks to insight gleaned from Evans’ former coaches.
However, there’s nothing underhanded about the process this time around. Evans not only decided to depart Greg Jackson’s gym, where Jones still calls home, but has questioned the integrity of instructors at the renowned training center. And, to hear Jones tell it, Evans was never much of a teammate to begin with.
“He’s never gone to a team dinner. He never went out and said, ‘Hey, let me buy these other guys a drink because I can afford it.’ It was not like that. He just had ‘Cowboy’ (Donald Cerrone) and basically the guys who had money in the bank and could hang with him, dress with him, and look good standing next to him at the club. That’s not a team member,” said Jones in an interview with MMAFighting, adding Evans completely ignored a number of the people at Jackson’s MMA.
Now, when they meet on April 21 for Jones’ belt, “Bones” will have an ace in the hole with Jackson, Mike Winkeljohn, and others in his corner who are extremely familiar with what Evans has to offer based on his years in New Mexico.
“I have the coaches that taught him how to fight. They taught him the guard passes he uses, the ground-and-pound system that he uses, the punches that he used to throw and the combinations. I mean, it almost seems not fair sometimes,” confessed Jones. “He always talks down about Greg Jackson now and he always talks crap about our team, by saying our team was just commercial and we’re overrated. But all those insults have really made it almost personal for our coaches. We know his psychology. We know what makes him tired. We know everything about him. He’s in trouble.”
Jones-Evans will serve as the headliner this Saturday night at UFC 145. Each man has only lost a single time in his career though Jones’ involved an unnecessary disqualification while Evans was finished cleanly by Lyoto Machida. Jones has won six straight since the stumble with “Suga” ‘Shad stringing together four consecutive victories.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC